The Cayce Department of Public Safety in South Carolina was involved in a shooting on Nov. 17 that resulted in the death of 21-year-old Demetrius Bryant and the wounding of one of the responding officers.
The department has released the entire video of the shooting incident in the interest of transparency and it is a perfect example of how quickly things can spiral out of control in seemingly routine situations.
The video shows Sgt. Frank Ballentine approach a running car where Bryant was sleeping. The officer smelled marijuana.
Bryant got out of the car and the officer asked him questions. Bryant said the smell was from someone smoking weed in the car earlier that morning.
Ballentine went back to his squad car and discovered Bryant’s vehicle wasn’t registered. It appeared he was going to let that and the weed slide until Bryant pulled a bag of it out of his pocket.
At this point, Ballentine’s partner, Officer Rhett Kelly, attempted to arrest Bryant for misdemeanor possession. The officers described Bryant as “tensing up” and said he would be charged for resisting arrest.
That’s when Bryant pulled a gun from his pants and fired it, hitting Kelly in his leg. Ballentine returned fire, and struck Bryant twice in the upper body, resulting in his death.
Ballentine later said that he felt a bullet whiz by his head.
In light of the evidence, the officers were cleared of any wrongdoing.